A 14 year old girl for various reasons does not want to live with her mother. They do not get along. Mom and child just recently moved back to Az from Montana. The child did not want to move to Az. Child wanted to stay in Montana and live with grandmother and not with mom. Child has asked grandmother to come and get her and take her back to granny’s in Montana. Grandmother does not want to escalate this situation to a legal/court level. Can grandmother do anything? What if the 14 year old girl wants to live with granny and not mom? Can the young lady leave mom and go to granny’s and stay with granny? If granny comes back to Az, and the young lady does not want to live with mom but with granny, can granny pick up the young lady and return to Montana? What is reasonably possible for the 14 year old and her grandmother?
A child, regardless of age, does not have the right to choose where or with whom they want to live. In Arizona, a child must be 16 before they can legally emancipate. A third party who wishes to intervene into a custody situation will need to file a petition with the court and be granted custodial rights on some level if they wish to move with a child. Otherwise, a person taking a child, regardless of relationship, runs the risk of violating state kidnapping laws. If a person feels a child is in danger they can also look into juvenile court remedies but those often times will result in CPS or other government agency involvement.